The greatest economic stimulus in history falls short in New York
The "war-torn ‘quot; aid of the Senate seems insufficient to alleviate the effects of a virus that is growing without brake also in New Orleans
The largest economic package the United States has ever approved, valued at 2.2 trillion, with 'b', has come up short. An investment "at the height of a war," said Senate Leader Mitch McConnell. That "it cannot even be called an economic stimulus," he added. "It is an emergency plan." The package is almost fifteen times larger than 2008, and yet New York Governor Andrew Cuomo calls it "a drop in the ocean." Or what is worse, "a real disaster for New York ‘quot;, which calculates to lose between 10,000 and 15,000 million dollars only in public collections, but it will hardly receive 3,800.
The real economic stimulus will come later, congressional leaders have promised. This is only a temporary lifeline to businesses and workers in general, who drain their last savings before falling into the void. The legislative package has been the subject of arduous negotiation and has yet to be voted on in the lower house to reconcile it with the version it approved last week.
Americans have already lost their lives to the coronavirus.
Positive cases have been officially recorded in the country.
The Senate vote was delayed until midnight Wednesday – early Thursday in Spain – because many Republican lawmakers consider "this is the worst possible idea ‘quot;, as Senator Lindsey Graham said. In his opinion, the extension of unemployment benefits for 13 weeks, with an increase of $ 600 per week, extensible for the first time to self-employed workers, will only serve to incentivize people not to work.
There was more consensus around the popular move to send a $ 1,200 check to every taxpayer who makes less than $ 75,000 a year, in addition to $ 500 per child. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin wants them to start reaching citizens' mailboxes in three weeks, the date the tax filing deadline is usually due, postponed to June. For once, without it serving as a precedent, the Treasury will pay them.
All in all, the most important measure will be to invest $ 350 billion in interest-free loans for small and medium-sized businesses, $ 100 billion for hospitals, and $ 500 billion for airlines and other transportation companies. The planes that remain en route are so empty that a seat is no longer assigned. For all these reasons, the package was approved unanimously in the end, even with Graham's vote and the promise of President Donald Trump to sign it as soon as it reaches his table. Only four senators were missing: Ron Paul, a Covid-19 patient, and three others in quarantine for having had contact with him.
The virus spreads unstoppably throughout the country, where on Thursday the psychological barriers of 75,000 cases and 1,000 deaths were exceeded – in the afternoon there were already 78,600 positives and 1,135 deaths. The only antidote seems to be the separation distance, which in New York has allowed the number of hospitalizations to slow down, which doubled every 3-4 days on Tuesday and 4-7 on Wednesday.
New Yorkers learn the lesson of abandoning the streets, but other cities like New Orleans have barely opened that page. The thousand cases that the city of Mardi Grass reported this Thursday (2,035 in the entire state of Louisiana) repeated the pattern of New York and threatened to make the area the next hot spot. Its inhabitants are reluctant to abandon the social habit of meeting with neighbors on the porches, despite being blamed for the spread to the carnival riots, which ended on February 25. Only Orleans Parish, one of the neighborhoods hardest hit by the Hurricane Katrina disaster, already has more deaths than all of Los Angeles County. And among them, eleven lived in the same nursing home, where there are dozens of infected.
One week to know the results of the analyzes
With labs collapsing from increased diagnostic tests, it takes up to a week to receive the results. Natasha Ott, a 39-year-old who worked in a clinical center, was found dead in the kitchen on Friday without receiving them. "His funeral arrangements are not yet complete," the obituary said in the local newspaper.
Added to this delay is the fact that most of the suspected infected have to pay for diagnostic tests out of pocket. This draws those with fewer resources and helps speed up the transmission of the epidemic.